Abstract: Effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of fibromyalgia

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Altern Ther Health Med. 2006 Mar-Apr;12(2):34-41.

Singh BB, Wu WS, Hwang SH, Khorsan R, Der-Martirosian C, Vinjamury SP, Wang CN, Lin SY.

Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, USA.

CONTEXT: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a prevalent musculoskeletal disorder associated with pain, mood state alteration, and disability.
A structured and effective treatment plan for palliative care has not been established. The genesis of FMS is not clear. FMS occurs primarily in adult women.

DESIGN: Using a quasi-experimental clinical design and following the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), for FMS, 21 participants completed the study.

The mean age was 53.6 years. The data were collected at baseline and at 1 and 2 months. Acupuncture treatments included 17 points for FMS symptoms, and 8 outcome measures were collected.

RESULTS: The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) showed significant differences at 1 and 2 months.

For the SF-12, 3 subscales showed significant differences between baseline and 2 months. Four of 6 items were significantly changed. The mean number of general health symptoms was significantly decreased by 2 months. For the Catastrophe Index, significant differences were found for baseline vs 2 months. Pain threshold scores were significantly different at end of treatment for 5 bilateral tender points. There was significant improvement in Beck Depression items for both 1- and 2-month periods.

In a multivariate regression model, 5 covariates were included–age, number of weeks in treatment, number of doctors treating, number of general symptoms, and baseline FIQ score. The results indicated significant age effect. This analysis showed that the higher the FIQ score, the more positive the change experienced by study participants. Number of weeks in treatment, number of doctors who treated, and total number of general health symptoms did not have a significant effect on outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvement was experienced by participants at 8 weeks of treatment. Acupuncture treatment as delivered was effective at reducing FMS symptoms in this outcome study.

PMID: 16541995 [PubMed – in process]

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